Jesus said to his disciples, «If the world hates you, remember that the world hated me before you. This would not be so if you belonged to the world, because the world loves its own. But you are not of the world since I have chosen you from the world; because of this the world hates you. Remember what I told you: the servant is not greater than his master; if they persecuted me, they will persecute you, too. Have they kept my teaching? Will they then keep yours? All this they will do to you for the sake of my name because they do not know the One who sent me».
In today’s gospel there are two messages that we can try to put in practice today. First is not to be afraid where there is trouble in doing good to the world. This world where we live is not our mother land, as many of us think. We are from the world, but not of the world. We are children of the Father, the Father of Jesus and we are called to keep this always in our mind. Our home is where our mater lives, particularly the place He has prepared for us. Let us not forget this divine identity.
The second message is, to be a faithful disciple of our Master, in our words and deeds. Jesus did love the world and we should learn the creation in its totality. Even in a painful moment Jesus responded positively to the need of the repented thief, and this should be our approach to the people in this world. It is here we learn to forgive and accept others and their own limitations.
If we keep these two points in mind, the first thing that we will do is, to search for the divine will and use all our energies to accomplish it. The prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas will be our prayer too. “Grand me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you.”
«All this they will do to you for the sake of my name because they do not know the One who sent me»
Fr. Ferran JARABO i Carbonell
(Agullana, Girona, Spain)
Today, the Gospel opposes the world to Christ's followers. The world represents whatever sinful there may be in our existence. Consequently, one of the main characteristics of Christ's followers is fighting all evil and sin to be found in the world and inside every man. This is why, Jesus is the light of men, the light that illuminates the world's darkness. Karol Wojtyla exhorts us «so that this light makes us strong and capable to accept and love the entire Truth of Christ, and love it even more when opposed by our world».
Neither Christians nor the Church can follow the passing fads or criteria of this world. Christ's criterion is the unique, definitive and unavoidable one for us to follow. It is not up to Jesus to adapt himself to the world where we live; it is up to us instead to transform our lives after Jesus. «Christ is the same one whether yesterday, today or always». This should make us wonder. When our secularized society demands from us and from the Church certain changes or licences, we are simply being asked us to move away from God. We, Christians, however, should be faithful to Christ and to his message. Saint Ireneus says: «God does not need anything; but man needs to be in permanent communion with God. And man's glory lies in persevering and always keep in God's service».
This fidelity may, quite often, mean persecution: «If they persecuted me, they will persecute you, too» (Jn 15:20). We should not be afraid of persecution; we should rather be afraid of not attempting strongly enough to always make God's will. Let's be brave and let us proclaim without any fear Christ resurrected, light and joy of all Christians! Let us leave the Holy Spirit to transform us so that we can inform the whole world about it!